US 3246278 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 12, 1966 B. SILVER POLARIZED LATCHING ELECTRICAL COUPLING Filed Sept. 18, 1962 1N VENTOR EE/P/VA/PD S/LVE/F ATTOR/Vf United States Patent 3,246,278 POLARIZED LATCHING ELECTRIQAL COUPLING Bernard Silver, North Hills, Pa., assignor to Electro-Nite Engineering Co., Philadelphia, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Sept. 18, 1962, Ser. No. 224,413 6 Claims. (Cl. 339-8) This invention relates to a polarized coupling, and more particularly, to a rapidly disconnectable polarized electrical coupling.
In many fields of endeavor, it is necessary to provide an electrical coupling wherein electrical contact will be maintained between two sets of electrical contacts notwithstanding the fact that the contacts may be rotated 360 degrees with respect to each other. An example of an environment where the present invention may be used is the field of pyrometry. In the field of pyrometr the temperature of a surface or molten bath will be taken by thermocouples at the end of a lance. An electrical coupling device'is provided between the end of the lance remote from the thermocouples and conventional instrumentation.
The electrical coupling must be such that permits 360 degree rotation between the s'ets of contacts, selectively prevents axial separation of the contacts, and permits such axial separation in a rapidmanner when desired. The present invention accomplishes these desirable results in a manner which is simple and reliable.
The electrical coupling of the present invention includes first and second tubular bodies which are telescoped with respect to each other. A set of electrical contacts is supported by each tubular body. The bodies and electrical contacts are orientated so that electrical contact is made notwithstanding the fact that the bodies and contacts may rotate through 360 degrees. A latch means is provided to selectively prevent separation of the bodies in an axial direction and facilitate such separation in a rapid manner when desired. a
It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel polarized electrical coupling.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an electrical coupling which facilitates rapid separation of electrical contacts and permits 360 degree rotation between such contacts.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a polarized electrical coupling which facilitates separation of electrical contacts by means of a reciprocable sleeve surrounding such contacts.
Other objects will appear hereinafter.
For the purpose of illustrating the invention there is shown in the drawings a form which is presently preferred; it being understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the coupling of the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken along the lines 22 in FIGURE 1, with the bodies in a coupled position.
FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 1, but illustrating the bodies in a partially separated condition.
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken along the lines 4-4 in FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 5 is a' sectional view taken along the lines 5-5 in FIGURE 2. 1
Referring to the drawing in detail, wherein like numerals indicate like elements, there is shown in FIGURE 1 a polarized electrical coupling designated generally as 10.
The coupling 10 includes a'first tubular body 12 having a centrally disposed bore 14 therein. The lefthand end of the body 12 has a reduced diameter portion 16 provided with external threads 18. The reduced diameter portion 16 is provided with an inwardly converging tapered bore 20 which communicates with bore 14.
A collar 22 is threadedly engaged with threads 18 on the portion 16. The collar 22 is provided with an outwardly diverging tapered surface 24. A Washer 26 is disposed within bore 20 and is provided with converging and diverging surfaces mating with bore 20 and surface 24. The washer 26 is adapted to resiliently embrace an electrical conduit extending therethrough.
As shown more clearly in FIGURES 2 and 3, the body 12 is provided with a reduced diameter portion 28 extending from a shoulder 32 to a free end 34. A sleeve 30 is tclescoped over the portion 28 and is adapted to be reciprocatively supported thereby. It will be noted as shown more clearly in FIGURE 3, that the length of sleeve 30 corresponds with the distance between shoulder 32 and end 34. I
The sleeve 30 is provided with a. slot 36 extending therethrough with the ends of the slot 36 being intermediate the ends of the sleeve as shown more clearly in FIGURES 13. The slot 36 receives the head of a threaded pin 38. The threaded pin 33 extends through a hole in the reduced diameter portion 28 and is threadedly engaged in a blind hole in the bottom wall 42 of a cup-shaped first contact housing 40.
The housing 49 is preferably made from electrical insulating material such as polyethylene. A first contact 44 is centrally disposed within the cavity of the housing 4-0 and is concentric therewith. Contact 44 is provided with a hollow tubular lead 48 which extends through the bot-10m wall 42. The cavity of the housing 40 is lined with an annular ring-shaped contact 46. Contact 46 is provided with a hollow tubular lead 50.
An annular spacer sleeve 52 surrounds the housing 40. Sleeve 52 is preferably made from an electrical insulating material such as polyethylene. Other well known types of electrical insulating material may be utilized for the housing 40 and sleeve 52 as desired. Sleeve 52 is slidably supported by the bore 14 and is spring-biased to the right in FIGURES 2 and 3 by a spring 54. Sleeve 52 is provided with a slot 56 intermediate its ends through which the threaded pin 38 extends.
Headless guide pins 58 and 60, FIGURES 3 and 4, extend through holes in the reduced diameter portion 28 of the body 12 at diametrically opposite points as shown moreclearly in FIGURE 4. Each of the guide pins 58 and 60 extends into an axially extending peripheral channel on the housing 40. The channel 40 extends from an end of the housing 40 adjacent end 34 toward the collar 22. As shown more clearly in FIGURE 3, the channel has a length which is less than the axial length of the housing 4i). The cooperation between the ends of the channels and the guide pins 58 and 60 prevents the spring 54 from biasing the housing 40 out of the free end 34 of the body 12. In this manner, the threaded pin 38 need not absorb the biasing effect of the spring 54.
The reduced-diameter portion 28 of the body 12 is provided with a plurality of holes at spaced points therearound. Three such holes are illustrated in FIGURE 4 with one of the balls 62, 64, and 66 being disposed in each hole. The diameter of the balls is greater than the thickness of the reduced diameter portion 28. The inner surface of the sleeve 30 is provided with two axially spaced grooves 68 and 70. Groove 68 is deeper than groove 70.
The coupling 10 includes a second tubular body 72. Body 72 is provided with a reduced-diameter portion 74 at one end thereof. Reduced-diameter portion 74 is identical with portion 16 and is adapted to have a collar 22 duced-diameter portion 82 extending from shoulder 84 to its free end. A peripheral groove 86 is provided on the reduced-diameter portion 82. The depth of groove 86 is equal to the depth of groove 68.
A second contact housing 88 is supported Within bore 7 6, FIGURES 2 and 3. A threaded pin 90 extends through the reduced-diameter portion 80 and is threadedly engaged in a blind hole on the periphery of the housing 88. Headless pins 92 and 94, FIGURES 2 and 5, extend through the reduced-diameter portion 80 at diametrically opposite points. Pins 92- and 94 extend into a channel on the periphery of housing 88. In normal operating relationship, the pins 92- and 94 are in abutting contact with the end of the last mentioned channel.
A hollow-wall structure 96, FIGURES 3 and 4, projects axially from the housing 88 toward the housing 40. Wall structure 96 is integral with housing 88. Leads 98 and 100, identical with leads 48 and 50, extend through the housing 88. Lead 98 is connected to a metal conductor 102, FIGURE 4, which extends along the arcuate wall surface 104 on wall structure 96. Lead 100 is connected to an electrical conductor extending along the inner peripheral surface of a circular wall 106 of the wall structure 96. The last-mentioned electrical conductor is in abutting engagement with contact 44. Contact 102 is in abutting engagement with contact 46. As will be evident from FIGURE 4, electrical contact will be maintained notwithstanding 360 degree rotation of housing 88 with respect to housing 40. a
The operation of the coupling is as follows:
An electrical cable from instrumentation or the like will extend through washer 26 and have its electrical conductors secured to the leads 48 and 50. Another electrical cable will extend through a washer adapted to be disposed Within the reduced diameter section 74. The electrical conductors of the last-mentioned cable will be secured to the leads 98 and 100. So long as the coupling 10 is in the disposition illustrated in FIGURE 2, contact 44 is electrically coupled to the contact within the circular wall 106, and contact 46 is electrically coupled to contact 10 2.
The bodies 12 and 72 and their respective contact housings may rotate with respect to eachother through an arc of 360 degrees. The electrical contacts will remain coupled to each other through such rotation. The bodies 12 and 72 are restrained from separation in an axial direction by the balls 62, 64 and 66. As shown more clearly in FIGURE 2, the balls are disposed in holes in the reduced-diameter portion 28 of the body 12 and exand/or a slight axial pull on the body 72, causes the balls to be moved radially outwardly so as to be disposed within their holes in the reduced-diameter portion 28 and in the groove 68 of the sleeve 30 as illustrated in FIGURE 3. As soon as the sleeve 30 has been reciprocated to a position so that the balls may enter the groove 68, the
bodies 12 and 72 will be separated from one another by the action of spring 54. It will be noted that the spring the reduced-diameter portion 82 and the sleeve 52 prevents the balls from falling therebetween.
The pins 58.and 60, FIGURES, 3 and 4, limit the extent of reciprocation of the'sleeve 52 and housing 40. The pins 92 and 94 prevent reciprocation of the housing 88 within the bore 76 and in 'a direction away from body 12. Also, these pins prevent relative rotary motion between the housing 40 and body 12 as well as between housing 88 and body 72. I
When it is desired to'recouple the bodies 12 and 72, the bodies are placed in line with one another and telescoped as illustrated in FIGURE 2. Therearfter, the sleeve 30 is reciprocated from the position illustrated in FIGURE 3 to that illustrated in FIGURE 2. As soon as the groove 86 is in a position to receive the balls, the sleeve 30 may be reciprocated with a minimum of effort. Until the groove 86 is in aposition'to receive the balls, the sleeve 30 may not be reciprocated except by the application of an abnormal amount of force. When the elements are in the disposition illustrated in FIGURE 2, it will be noted that the depth of the groove and the thickness of the reduced-diameter portion 28 are insuflicient to accommodate the balls. Hence, the bodies 12 and 72 may not be separated in an axial direction unless the sleeve 30 is first reciprocated to the position illustrated in FIGURE 3.
In all rot-ative positions of the bodies 12 and72, a polarized electrical coupling is obtained. Subsequent recoupling of the bodies 12 and 72 does not elfect the polarized couplingsince it is automatically attained as a result of the manner in which the contacts mate wit one another. 7
The friction between sleeve 30 and portion 28 as well as the cooperation between the balls and groove 70 prevents the sleeve 30 from falling due to gravity when the coupling 10 is rotated 90 degrees in a clockwise direction from the illustration in FIGURE 2. However, the amount of force necessary to reciprocate the sleeve 30 is low enough so that the sleeve 30 may be reciprocated with the thumb and forefinger of one hand while the body 12 is held in said one hand. This is an important advantage of the present invention since the operator is now free to hold correlating instruments in his other hand or is free to manipulate other instruments with his other hand. The illustration in FIGURE 2 is drawn to the scale of an operative embodiment and the amount of reciprocation of sleeve 30 is approximately one-half inch.
The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof and, accordingly, reference should be made to the appended claims, rather than to the foregoing specification as indicating the scope of the invention.
1. A rapidly disconnectable polarized electrical coupling comprising first and second rotatably coupled and axially disconnectable tubular bodies, a portion of said first body being telescoped over a portion of, said second body, said first body having first and second electrical contacts, said second body having third andfourth electricalcontacts,
said first contact being electrically coupled to said third contact in all rotary positions of said bodies, said second and fourth contacts being electrically coupled in all rotary 1 first portion of said body, a second sleeve supported 54 has biased the sleeve 52 to the right in FIGURE 3. r
The continuous contact between the juxtaposed ends of within said first body, said second sleeve being axially reciprocable upon telescoping of said second body pornon into said first body portion, means biasing said second sleeve toward said second body portion, said second sleeve being adapted to bias said second body portion out of telescoping coupling with said first body when said latch means is released. a 1
2. A coupling in accordance with claim 1 wherein said first contact is located at the longitudinal axis of said first body, and said second contact being an annular ring surrounding and spaced from said first contact.
3. A rapidly disconnectable polarized electrical coupling comprising first and second rotatably coupled and axially disconnectable tubular bodies, a portion of said first body being telescoped over a portion of said second body, said first body having first and second electrical contacts, said second body having third and fourth electrical contacts, said first contact being electrically coupled to said third contact in all rotary positions of said body, said second and fourth contacts being electrically coupled in all rotary positions of said body, and a latch means on one of said bodies selectively preventing separation of said bodies in an axial direction, said latch means including a plurality of balls partially received by each of said 'bodies, and means on one of said bodies for moving said balls in a radial direction with respect to the longitudinal axis of said first body to facilitate separation of said bodies in an axial direction.
4. A coupling in accordance with claim 3 wherein said last mentioned means includes a sleeve within said first body, and a spring biasing means in said first body biasing said sleeve in a direction toward said second body.
5. An electrical coupling com-prising first and second rotatably coupled and axially disconnectable tubular bodies, a portion of said bodies being disposed in telescopic relation, said first body having first and second electrical contacts, said second body having third and fourth electrical contacts, said firs-t body having an opening at a free end thereof for receiving electrical conductors adapted to be coupled to said contacts, said second body having an opening at a -free end thereof for receiving electrical conductors adapted to be coupled to said third and fourth contacts, said first and third contacts being electrically coupled in all rotary positions of said body with respect to their longitudinal axes, said second and fourth contacts being electrically coupled in all rotary positions of said bodies with respect to their longitudinal axes, and a reciprocal latch means on one of said bodies selectively preventing separation of said bodies in an axial direction, said latch means including a plurality of balls partially supported by the telescopic portions of said bodies, and a reciprocative member surrounding said first body, said reciprocative member having a groove for partially receiving said balls in conjunction with the telescoped portion of said first body so that said second body may be reciprocated in an axial direction with respect to said first body.
6. A coupling in accordance with claim 5 wherein said latch means includes a sleeve within said first body, said sleeve being in line with the telescoped portion of said second body, a spring means biasing said sleeve toward the telescoped portion of said second body, and the outer diameter of said sleeve being substantially equal to the inner diameter of said first body so that said sleeve may prevent said balls from moving radially inwardly of said first body when said second body is moved in an axial direction wit-h respect to said first body.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,404,098 1/1922 Dennis 339-8 2,520,739 8/1950 Shaw 339-182 X 2,521,701 9/1950 Earle et al 2s5-277 2,933,712 4/1960 Klop-fenstein 339 91 PATRICK A. CLIFFORD, Primary Examiner.
A. S. TRASK, Assistant Examiner.